Saturday, May 21, 2022

Real estate expert weighs in on Shenandoah Valley housing market


HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The real estate market has seen many changes throughout the pandemic, including people relocating from major cities to smaller communities, lack of inventory and changing interest rates.

“It is still a seller’s market,” explained Brent Loope, President-elect of the Harrisonburg Rockingham Association of Realtors. “It will be interesting to see over the next few six to eight months how that changes, if interest rates continue to sit about five percent or if they even slip a little bit higher. I would say, right now with buyer demand being so high it is still very much a seller’s market.”

Loope says even with new homes being built, supply is not keeping up with demand. He adds it could be a few years for new developments to ease demand.

“You’ve got a combination of it is going to take a long time for new housing to really make an impact because it is costly right now for a lot of people. The supply chain still feels limited,” Loope said. “The demand outweighs the supply so heavily in our area right now. Unless there is a massive shift economically, I don’t see anything changing in the next six to 12 months.”

If you’re not looking to buy and would rather rent, things are not much easier.

“Renters are feeling the brunt of the increase just as much as home buyers are in terms of pricing and rent rates,” Loope explained. “If you are in a position financially where purchasing a home is a possibility, it may be in your best interest. You are paying so much in rent right now [and] the availability of rental properties is very minimal as well.”

For first-time home buyers, there is a lot to learn.

“When you see a house hit the market, it is pretty much expected with offers coming in in the first 24-48 hours, you can anticipate a possible competitive situation where you may be forced to put in an offer over the asking price. You may be waiving certain contingencies on a contract that you may not otherwise waive in order to be more competitive,” Loope added.

Even for those who have entered the market before, Loope says some things are different.

“You’re the first-time homebuyer but they purchased three or four years ago, what they went through, their experience is going to be very different than the experience of a first-time homebuyer in 2022 is going to be like,” Loope said. “It is not a situation where you are going to be taken advantage of but a situation where you are going to have to navigate carefully to make sure you are comfortable making one of the biggest purchases of your life.”

Experts say reach out to those knowledgeable in the industry because the market is constantly changing. For more information on the Harrisonburg Rockingham Association of Realtors, click here.

Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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